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Sunday, September 10, 2006

'Habib Ibn Zayd al-Ansari' (radiy-Allahu 'anhu) " Prophet (saas) sa

'Habib Ibn Zayd al-Ansari' (radiy-Allahu ‘anhu) " Prophet
(saas) said : May Allah bless and have mercy on this household"
'Habib Ibn Zayd
al-Ansari' (radiy-Allahu ‘anhu)
" Prophet (saas)
said : May Allah bless and have mercy on this household"

News of Habib's fate reached his
mother and her reaction was simply to say:
"It was for such a situation that
I prepared him... He pledged allegiance to the
Prophet on the night of Aqabah as
a small child and today as an adult he has
given his life for the Prophet.
If God were to allow me to get near to Musaylamah,
I would certainly make his
daughters smite their cheeks and lament over him."

He grew up in a home filled with the fragrance of iman, and in a
family where everyone was imbued with the spirit of sacrifice.
Habib's father, Zayd ibn Asim, was one of the first persons in
Yathrib to accept Islam and his mother, the celebrated Nusaybah
bint Kab known as Umm Ammarah, was the first woman to bear arms
in defence of Islam and in support of the blessed Prophet.

Habib, still at a tender age, was privileged to go with his
mother, father, maternal aunt and brother to Makkah with the
pioneering group of seventy five who pledged fealty to the
Prophet at Aqabah and played a decisive role in shaping the early
history of Islam.

At Aqabah, in the darkness of the night, the young Habib
stretched out his small hand and pledged loyalty to the Prophet.
From that day, the Prophet, peace and blessings of God on him,
became dearer to Habib than his own mother or father and Islam
became more important to him than any care for his personal
safety.

Habib did not participate in the Battle of Badr because he was
too young. Neither did he have the opportunity to take part in
the battle of Uhud because he was still considered too young to
bear arms. Thereafter, however, he took part in all the
engagements which the Prophet fought and in all he distinguished
himself by his bravery and willingness to sacrifice. Although
each of these battles had its own importance and was demanding in
its own way, they served to prepare Habib for what was to prove
the most terrible encounter of his life, the violence of which is
profoundly soul-shaking.

Let us follow this awesome story from the beginning. By the ninth
year after the Hijrah, Islam had spread widely and had become the
dominant force in the Arabian peninsula. Delegations of tribes
from all over the land converged on Makkah to meet the Messenger
of God, peace be upon him, and announce before him, their
acceptance of Islam.

Among these delegations was one from the highlands of Najd, from
the Banu Hanilab. At the outskirts of Makkah, the members of the
delegation tethered their mounts and appointed Musaylamah ibn
Habib as their spokesman and representative. Musaylamah went to
the Prophet, peace be upon him. and announced his people's
acceptance of Islam. The Prophet welcomed them and treated them
most generously. Each, including Musaylamah, was presented with
a gift.

On his return to Najd the ambitious and self-seeking Musaylamah
recanted and gave up his allegiance to the Prophet. He stood
among the people and proclaimed that a prophet had been sent by
God to the Banu Hanifah just as God had sent Muhammad ibn
Abdullah to the Quraysh.

For various reasons and under a variety of pressures, the Banu
Hanilab began to rally around him. Most followed him out of
tribal loyalty or asabiyyah. Indeed one member of the tribe
declared: "I testify that Muhammad is indeed truthful and that
Musaylamah is indeed an imposter. But the imposter of Rabiah (the
tribal confederation to which the Banu Hanilab belonged) is
dearer to me that the genuine and truthful person from Mudar (the
tribal confederation to which the Quraysh belonged)."

Before long, the number of Musaylamah's followers increased and
he felt powerful, powerful enough to write the following letter
to the Prophet, peace be upon him: "From Musaylamah, the
messenger of God to Muhammad, the messenger of God. Peace be on
you. I am prepared to share this mission with you. I shall have
(control over) half the land and you shall have the other half.
But the Quraysh are an aggressive people."

Musaylamah despatched two of his men with the letter to the
Prophet. When the letter was read to the Prophet, he asked the
two men: "And what do you yourselves say about this matter?" "We
affirm what the letter says," they replied. "By God," said the
Prophet, "were it not for the fact that emissaries are not killed
I would have smitten both your necks." He then wrote to
Musaylamah: "In the name of God, the Beneficent, the
Compassionate. From Muhammad the Messenger of God, to
Musaylamah the imposter.

Peace be upon whoever follows the guidance. God will bequeath the
earth to whosoever of His servants He wishes and the final
triumph will be for those who are careful of their duty to God."
He sent the letter with the two men.

Musaylamah's evil and corrupting influence continued to spread
and the Prophet considered it necessary to send another letter to
him inviting him to abandon his misguided ways. The Prophet chose
Habib ibn Zayd to take this letter to Musaylamah. Habib was by
this time in the prime of his youth and a firm believer in the
truth of Islam with every fibre of his being.

Habib undertook his mission eagerly and proceeded as quickly as
he could to the highlands of the Najd, the territory of the Banu
Hanilab. He presented the letter to Musaylamah.

Musaylamah was convulsed with bitter rage. His face was terrible
to behold. He ordered Habib to be put in chains and to be brought
back before him the following day.

On the following day, Musaylamah presided over his assembly. On
his right and on his left were his senior advisers, there to
further his evil cause. The common people were allowed to enter.
He then ordered Habib, shackled in his chains, to be brought
before him.

Habib stood in the midst of this crowded, hate-filled gathering.
He remained upright, dignified and proud like a sturdy spear
firmly implanted in the ground, unyielding.

Musaylamah turned to him and asked: "Do you testify that Muhammad
is the Messenger of God?" "Yes," Habib replied. "I testify that
Muhammad is the Messenger of God."

Musaylamah was visibly angry. "And do you testify that I am the
Messenger of God?" He was almost insisting, rather than
questioning. "My ears have been blocked against hearing what you
claim," replied Habib.

Musaylamah's face changed color, his lips trembled in anger and
he shouted to his executioner, "Cut off a piece of his body."

With sword in hand, the menacing executioner advanced towards
Habib and severed one of his limbs.

Musaylamah then put the same question to him once more and
Habib's answers were the same. He affirmed his belief in Muhammad
as the Messenger of God and at the expense of his own life he
refused to acknowledge the messengership of any other. Musaylamah
thereupon ordered his henchman to cut off another part of Habib's
body. This fell to the ground beside the other severed limb. The
people looked on in amazement at Habib's composure and
steadfastness.

Faced with Musaylamah's persistent questioning and the terrible
blows of his henchman, Habib kept on repeating:

"I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of God." Habib could
not survive this torture and these inhuman atrocities much longer
and he soon passed away. On his pure lips, as his life-blood
ebbed away, was the name of the blessed Prophet to whom he had
pledged loyalty on the night of Aqabah, the name of Muhammad, the
Messenger of God.

News of Habib's fate reached his mother and her reaction was
simply to say: "It was for such a situation that I prepared
him... He pledged allegiance to the Prophet on the night of
Aqabah as a small child and today as an adult he has given his
life for the Prophet. If God were to allow me to get near to
Musaylamah, I would certainly make his daughters smite their
cheeks and lament over him."

The day that she wished for was not long in coming. After the
death of the Prophet, peace be on him, Abu Bakr declared war on
the imposter. With the Muslim army that went out to confront the
forces of Musaylamah were Habib's mother, Nusaybah, and another
of her courageous sons, Abdullah ibn Zayd.

At the Battle of Yamamah which ensued, Nusaybah was seen cutting
through the ranks of fighting men like a lioness and calling out:
"Where is the enemy of God? Show me the enemy of God ?" When she
eventually reached Musaylamah, he had already perished. She
looked at the body of the vain imposter and cruel tyrant and felt
serene. A grave threat to the Muslims had been removed and the
death of her beloved son, Habib, had been avenged.

At Habib's death, the noble Prophet had commended him and his
entire family and had prayed: "May God bless this household. May
God have mercy on this household."

Shaik Sadik
O Allah! The (only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are
my Wali (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian, etc.) in this
world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim (the one
submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous.”

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